Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tarleton Thursdays: From Our Day at the State Capitol, March 21, 2017

Senate Resolution 426, issued at Tarleton State University Day at the State Capitol on March 21, 2017, in honor of Tarleton's centennial as a member of the Texas A&M University System (click on the image to enlarge it).  This proclamation will be added to the University Archives.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Creative Commons and Attribution: It's the Right Thing to Do

What do you do when you need an image for an assignment - a presentation or a paper?  If the image is one you created yourself, you’re good to go. But what about those times you can’t create your own images? Is it OK to just use that great picture you found on the internet?

It’s safest to assume that all images on the web are copyrighted with all rights reserved, unless otherwise stated. That means you need to get permission for use from the image creator, or possibly face penalties ranging from a take-down notice, to a bill requesting payment for use of the image, to legal action against you. Not to mention – asking permission is moral and ethical.

A number of artists and photographers, sometimes in an effort to generate notice for their work, have made their images available for use under Creative Commons (CC) licenses. The creator can put the image into the public domain (waiving all copyright), or retain some rights and choose from six licenses, ranging from simple attribution (permitting derivatives and commercial reuse, CC-BY), to allowing reuse as long as it is noncommercial and the work is not modified (CC-BY-NC-ND).

This work, "CC Chart", is a derivative of slide 88 of “The OER 101 Workshop at USM II” by Zaid Alsagoff used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5. ”CC Chart” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 by Amanda Pape

There are a number of tools available to help you find copyright-friendly images, such as Creative Commons Search and flickrCC. Recently, Google Images Search made finding such images much easier.
  • Enter your search term.
  • When results appear, click on Tools.
  • Click on Usage rights.
  • Select the appropriate license (“Not filtered by license” is the default). 

Google Images search screen shot taken and further modified by Amanda Pape, CC-BY

Images (if any) that fit the license restrictions will appear. Depending on your search terms and the license you choose, images may come from Flickr, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, or the Open Clip Art library.  Be sure to click through to the image and double-check the licensing terms, as Google Images Search doesn't always get them right. 

It’s important to note that ALL Creative Commons licenses require users to provide attribution to the creator.

What is attribution? It’s the journalistic practice of crediting information to its source (so you know where something came from), and a concept in copyright law requiring acknowledgement of the creator of a work (such as an image) which is used or appears in another work (such as your blog or Facebook post).

Why should you provide attributions? Using other's images without giving credit is plagiarism. Also, think about how you might feel if someone “borrowed” one of your images to use on a website and did not give you credit, thereby implying that the image was his/her (or another’s) creation. This has happened to me (more than once), and I wasn’t too happy about it. (Luckily, in both cases, the borrowers added or corrected the attribution when I commented on the mistake.)

When using Creative Commons images, you must credit the photographers/artists in the manner they specify (if they do so). Sometimes you can find the preferred attribution with the image, or on a profile page from the website where you found the image.

Just as there are tools to help you find copyright-friendly images to use, there are tools available to generate attributions when no specific one is provided. Unfortunately, none of the tools I’ve tried (such as flickrCC, OpenAttribute, and ImageCodr) fully and consistently meet the Creative Commons guidelines for attribution, which require that you:

  • Cite the work’s title or name (and link it directly to source of the original work). 
  • Cite the author’s name, screen or real (and link to the author’s profile page when available). 
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under (and link to the license deed on the CC website). 
  • Keep intact any copyright notices for the work. 
  • Indicate if the image has been modified or adapted by you in any way.

If you use one of the citation tools mentioned above, take what it generates and fill in the missing pieces, as much as you can. Make some effort, just as you would in citing text sources in a paper written for an assignment in school. The two images used in this blog post provide examples of proper attribution.

Here is an additional resource on proper attribution:

And here is my presentation on Slideshare on Creative Commons licenses and proper attribution:

[An earlier version of this post appeared originally on the Texas Social Media Research Institute blog on July 9, 2014, and is used with their permission and that of me, the author.]

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stress Management

You have survived Midterms and suddenly realize that finals are a little over five weeks away. How do you cope with stress? According to WebMD you could:

Relax your mind by:
  • Write in a journal for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Let your feelings out by laughing or crying. Talk to others who care about you
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Volunteer your time

Relax your body by:
  • Practicing meditation
  • Practicing yoga
  • Go for a walk
  • Play a game with friends

If all else fails you could try some of my personal favorites:
  • Read a book
  • Checkout one of our cookbooks and bake something for a friend
  • Watch a video on Films on Demand
  • Checkout a CD or Audiobook

However you choose to prepare for the final academic push, please remember that the Reference staff is available to assist you with your research needs. You may get help either in person, over the phone, by email, or via the web at

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Global Road Warrior

Are you planning any international travel in the near future or would you like to learn more about the world? If so, then the library has a great resource for you: Global Road Warrior. It is a database that contains a wealth of information about every country on Earth. You can find it on the library's A to Z Databases List.

There are two ways to find information about a country thorough Global Road Warrior. Either select the name of the country on the alphabetical list, or select it on the interactive map.

Select a country from the list on the left or the map on the right. 
After you choose a country you will then be provided with a wide range of information about it: geography, history, culture, demographics, maps, etc.

If you are planning to travel to the country, then you must check out the Travel Essentials section. It provides valuable information such as: visa requirements, products you are allowed or not allowed to bring into the country, recommended immunizations, etc.

Visa and Passport requirements for travel to India. 

The library has other databases that are also helpful resources for travel such as:
  • A to Z Maps - provides detailed maps of every US state and most countries of the world. 
  • Mango Languages - provides interactive tutorials for 72 languages. 

If you have any questions about Global Road Warrior then email or call 254-968-9249. 

Click here to find information about study abroad opportunities provided by Tarleton State University. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Land to Water--Spring Break Safety Tips

Although you want to have a fun spring break, it is also important to keep safety in mind, so that you can come back to finish off the semester strong! 

  • On Land

1. Always rotate drivers so that one person isn't exhausted and accidently falls asleep at the wheel. Make it fun by letting the driver be in charge of music.

2. If more than 2 people are traveling make it a rule that that the person also sitting shotgun has to stay awake to keep the driver company. Perhaps they can take turns choosing the music.
Two awake people is better than just one!

3. Do your research and go old school by printing off directions. Even though most people rely on their smartphone to give them directions, it is always smart to be double prepared just in case your phone dies or the location you are driving doesn't have good cell reception.

4. When stopping to eat or take a rest break always make sure your valuables (wallet, GPS, expensive jewelry, etc.) that you leave behind in your car is hidden from plain view. This will reduce the risk of your vehicle getting broke into.

5. Never drive intoxicated or ride with someone you suspect is intoxicated. ( Even if they say they are ok to drive!). There are always a safer alternative. Call an Uber or taxi. In fact, if you do not have the money to call a cab, you can call for a police escort ( DO NOT call 911 for this, call the local police station). They would rather you call them than to be a danger to others!

6. Set limits, and instructions for yourself before going out and stick to them. For example: I am only going to have 3 drinks tonight, afterwards I will just drink soda or water. I won't go anywhere alone or go to an after party at a strangers house.

7. Never take a drink from a stranger or open container sources such as punch bowls. For one, there is no clear way of knowing the alcohol content and there could be a risk that it is drugged. If you or your friend feel dizzy, have slurred speech, is blacking/passing out--go to a safe place to help calm the person down. If symptoms are extreme, take them to the emergency room.

8. Don't make drinking alcohol a competition or try to keep up with your friends. Everyone's tolerance of alcohol will be different depending on how frequent they drink, their weight, and how much they have eaten. With saying that, always eat before you drink!

9. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you at a time. This way you will not be more at risk for getting robbed, and if you are it won't be as bad.

10. Know the local equivalent to 911 to the country you are visiting.
For example:
Central America and Caribbean:
Guatemala – 120*
Barbados – 511*
Jamaica – 110*
Nicaragua – 118*
Honduras – 199*

For more emergency numbers visit:

  • In the Water

1. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind when you party poolside or at the beach. If you start to feel bad, find a shade or cool place to lay down.

2. While out in the sun swimming or playing sports, it is easy to forget to drink water. However, this is the fastest way to become dehydrated. Make sure you take plenty rest breaks to stay hydrated.

3. It's a cloudy day, and you are thinking this is the perfect time to spend all day at the beach. Keep in mind that you can still burn when it is cloudy. Always use sun lotion!

4. Know the flag system for water safety:
  • Red Flag: Stay out of the water because of strong undertow and riptides.
  • Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water. There are some undertow and riptides possible.
  • Blue Flag: Calm water. Swim safely.
5. Always swim with a buddy. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught in an undertow. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t bother swimming against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until the rip passes.

6. It is advised not to drink while in a hot tub. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

7. In any natural body of water, be aware that you can’t always tell how deep the water is. Don’t dive if you don’t know for sure how deep the water is. Diving in too shallow of waters can lead to serious accidents.

For additional safety tips check out this website:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Made in the Maker Spot: Sculpting 1 Class Project Edition

Over the last month or so, we've been working with students in Professor Molly Dierk's Sculpting 1 class to design and print 3-D objects for their assignment. The assignment was to remix or repurpose existing objects found on sites like and use Tinkercad or another 3-D design software to make them into something new.

They rocked this assignment! I'm so impressed with their creativity and the things they came up with, some of which are pictured below.

Group shot of the students' projects

Chicken Foot Vase by Annalea Nelson

Lighhouses by Rachel Nunez

Faceless by Alex Huerta

Fingerfoot by Taylor Martin

Place Setting by David Baack

Busts by Rebecca Cox

Defying Gravity by Destany Seymore

Fight Like a Girl by Taylor Maerz

Ear Vase by Robbi Elliot

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tarleton Thursday: Alum Donates Ancestor's 1870s Texas Emigrant Journey Memoir to Library

Above:  Alan Easterling '90 with his ancestor's memoir

It's very appropriate that we get to announce an exciting donation to our archival collections on Texas Independence Day!  Yesterday, Tarleton alumnus Alan Easterling, Class of 1990, donated the original handwritten account of the mid-1870s journey from southern Illinois to northern Texas made by his great-grandfather, Nelson Fleming Rudolph (1861-1937), and his great-great uncle and Nelson's brother, Charles Francis Rudolph (1859-1929).

As can be seen in the photograph, the approximately 139-year-old document has been a little torn and taped on its first (and last) few leaves, but the remaining leaves (there are 100 pages) are in remarkably good condition.  Charles, who later became a newspaper editor, wrote the account of the journey and gave it as a Christmas gift to two of his sisters, Serena Estella "Stella" Rudolph Dort (1855-1932), who also moved to Texas, and Louisa Catherine "Lou" Rudolph Lee (1857-1930).

Easterling also donated three family photographs (two are originals from the late 1880s).  Watch for future posts featuring these images, as well as excerpts from the memoir.

Alan Easterling's nephew, Grayson Easterling, is a student at our Stephenville campus.  We also discovered another family connection here in the Dick Smith Library.  Jennifer Barrera, Assistant Director for User Services, is also a descendant of Nelson Fleming Rudolph.  He is Jennifer's great-great-grandfather, which makes Jennifer and Grayson third cousins, and Alan and Jennifer are second cousins once removed.